AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 5, Episode 5: “The End of Everything”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Andrew Chambliss & Ian Goldberg
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Skidmark” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Little Prince” – click here
It’s been a couple weeks since we’ve seen Al (Maggie Grace). She’s knocked out, tied up, and dragged through the rain. She comes to and sees the person dragging her light another armoured corpse on fire. She tries to make a run for it— trusty camera in tow— through the dark woods. Gets tough after losing a boot, being surrounded by walkers. The armed person finds her again. They want a tape from the camera.
Later, Al gets out of her bindings cleverly by drawing a zombie through barbed wire to use the wire as a way free. She finds the chopper with the symbol on it. The person who took her, a mysterious woman, finds her. The woman makes a call over the radio. Al hears about a “reclamation team” coming. But there are no answers to her questions. The armed woman only wants to know where Al put the tape, whereas Al’s only concerned with getting another story, getting “the truth.”
Note: For those who haven’t noticed already, the chopper is from the same fleet of choppers we saw in The Walking Dead (in this scene) when Rick Grimes is saved. Great connection. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out further across both shows.
The two women have to go to a fuel drop on a nearby mountain. On their way, a small landslide dumps zombies into the road. The woman— whom Al nicknames Happy— goes out to take care of the undead. Both of them get out and luckily so, considering the next small landslide all but buries the vehicle. Likewise, it’s lucky Al’s wearing the armoured jacket. She’s nearly bit saving the camera.
Happy looks through the camera bag and finds a tape from early during the outbreak of the zombie epidemic. In it, Al’s hiding while chaos erupts. She makes a tearful confession to the camera: “I‘m sorry, Jesse. I should have stayed— before and after.” Al would die for the tape because she went after the big story in lieu of being with her brother. And we hear a bit more about the people in the armoured gear donning the symbol with the three circles. Happy says they’re not living “for now” or “for ourselves.” She also says anybody wearing the armour ought to be feared.
Happy and Al begin to climb towards the fuel drop. It isn’t an easy one. Pretty gnarly to see a rock climbing zombie. The walker— or, climber, I suppose— causes a little trouble when Al gets close, attempting to save Happy from a nasty fall. ONE TENSE SCENE! Al’s able to help a dangling Happy before the situation gets any worse, then manages to kill the zombie. She gets them hooked on properly and the day’s saved.
“Everything I do is to ensure
there’s more than stories left
after I die”
At the top of the mountain is a makeshift helicopter pad and fuel. Happy advises not to be anywhere near the chopper when her team arrives, so Al’s determined to find a different way for her and her friends to get out of there. The former journalist’s new pal is adamant the tape be destroyed. She conveys the importance of people over stories. They share a beer around the campfire and chat until sleep comes.
Happy gets the tape back, which she burns. She says it’s only “part of the mission.” She then tells Al they have to part ways. She has to kill her. But she chooses not to, allowing Al to live. She advises not to “chase the story.” She introduces herself for the first time: Isabel. The two embrace with a kiss as Isabel calls Al “the prettiest thing” she’s seen”since the end of everything.”
Once that’s over, they head their separate ways. Isabel is that mysterious figure the kids see on the road witnessed last episode, carrying those fuel tanks. She gets the chopper started, lying over the radio that the area’s been cleared per protocol. She carries with her that special tape of Al’s, labelled The Bog #7, to make sure at least one story is told.
Al eventually meets Morgan (Lennie James) and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) in the forest. She lies to her friends about Isabel, claiming she found nothing out there alone. Although she does tell them some truth, revealing for the first time her double Polish last name, trying to make sure the PEOPLE not the STORY are what matters most of all.
“Everything’s so ugly nowadays”
A beautiful episode among the grim, bleak atmosphere of the post-zombie apocalypse. Great stuff. Lots of character work, particularly for Al, who’s one of Father Gore’s favourites of the series. Can’t wait for more. Also looking forward to seeing more connections to The Walking Dead— these links are proving far more exciting and fruitful than expected.
“The Little Prince” is next time.